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Walkability & electricity

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Power

“Overhead electrical cabling is a hazard to human life and property and poses an obstacle to road widening.The danger is even greater during the rainy and windy seasons. Also, a lot of power is stolen by miscreants,”  - A Bangalorean is determined to convince the government to go in for underground electrical cabling in the city

 I think the KPTCL & Bescom need to take this up on priority. This is an investment worth making. I know the linemen will lose gimbla as it will become harder to enable people to steal electricity. More than road widening 90% of obstructions on sidewalks/footpaths are related to electrical poles and transformers.

Let us take this up with our new corporators who will be at work soon.

Comments

idontspam's picture

Not in BLR?

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Kannan has done his homework and says underground cabling is quite feasible. “It has been done in Chennai, and it is quite doable here,”

 This only means there is gimbla@work here. Consequential benefits of this kind of investment is there for all to see. Yet we ignore the basics of infrastructure. I dont know if an RTI will help to find out why this has not been taken up yet.

Naveen's picture

Not sure if this is feasible yet

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I'm sceptical because it will add to the number of UG utilities running below surface on our narrow roads - drainage & water supply lines are very poorly managed as it is with optical fibre & telephone lines. Now, if we add electric cables (that are sensitive to moisture) & knowing how our agencies co-ordinate, it might actually lead to many more hardships since quick access for maintenance is also cut out.

Though all utilities must eventually go below surface, I'm not sure if the basket of various agencies can handle this as of now, unless a lot of effort is put in - & this is where the problem lies - the signature campaign is just only a start!

Rithesh's picture

Waste of money

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 Last time i checked the cost of underground cables was atleast 5-6 times the cost of over head cables. Add to that cost of shifting the lines underground, road digging, reconnection, new equipment, maintenance, etc., it's a complete waste of money and resources (i wouldnt be surprised if BESCOM takes this up - they will make more gimbla implementing this).

I fail to understand how shifting to underground cables will reduce wastage or help in road widening!! and its not like we have a track record of people being injured because of overhead cables (there have been incidents which might happen when the cable go underground too).

Such articles are generally pushed into the papers by vested interests "Paid news" - will be interesting to check Kannan's business interests (cable manufacture?).

idontspam's picture

I fail to understand how

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I fail to understand how shifting to underground cables will reduce wastage or help in road widening!!

I do not know about wastage or road widening but the benefits of underground lines has to be measured against walkability and footpath availability on a case to case basis. This is why I named this thread walkability & electricity not overhead vs underground. This should be a ward wise decision based on the total walking/footpath space available and the preference of the community.

Example: I prefer underground cabling in certain main roads of Ward 19 (same ward youre in mate). I want to see ploes on Rajagopal road and the main roads leading to it go underground while those on chawla road & inner streets can remain overhead. What is the criteria? Where the foot path space is less than 6 feet of clear walking space the poles need to go. Now its a toss up between BBMP & BESCOM. If its cheaper to increase footpath, clear encroachments, remove face scratching overhanging shrubbery lets do it. Else, the poles need to go.

BTW, It is definitely easier to hook up an electricity stealing device to the nearest pole than get a road cutting permit to steal power.

 

Naveen's picture

UG outstrips overhead cables

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As far as I know, UG cabling is superior to overhead & KPTCL has been wanting to do it from a long time, as per press reports that I had been following. The cost is much higher as cables have to be insulated to certain standards for protection as also the labor involved with digging trenches & covering up.

Advantages are many - lesser maintenance, protection from power theft, no ugly poles or hanging cables, lesser possibility for electrocution, no obstructions on footpaths - so, clearly, there are benefits.

Cable sellers may be lobbying for it, but that's another matter.

nl.srinivas's picture

UG cables are cheaper

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I checked with our office electrician. According to him the cable cost itself is less for UG cables. If you want a 3 phase connection for OH cable you need to buy 4 cables of the desired length at about 25rs/mtr. Whereas for UG you need to by one single cable, insulated, of the desired length at about 50rs/mtr. The downside is as mentioned the labour involved in digging and clearing up the mess. But I still feel the benifits out weigh the disadvantages.

 


Srivatsava's picture

Doesn't work with 'tiny' houses here?

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Having cables underground will have its fair share of problems - different from the problems faced with overhead cables.

I saw a newspaper report which, if I remember right, mentioned a IISc geology dept report that underground cables cost much higher than overhead cabling. It also said that Bangalore soil is very moist during rainy season and hence underground electricity cables will require additional ducting/insulation, which will drive the costs even higher!!  In contrast, Overhead cables sag during the heat of summer and cause electrical disruption at the slightest of breeze.

IMO, underground power distribution cables dont work for the 'tiny' houses of old Bangalore. In the newer areas, we have tall structures, so you dont have the buildings just abetting the road. There, underground cables will help create wide and long pavements, imploving walkability and walking speed. 

In old Bangalore, even if you dont have electrity poles, you cant have continuous and flat footpaths. Every 50 feet along the road, we need to break the footpath for 10 feet to provide access to the houses. The  3 foot wide footpaths will have rainforest tree with 4-feet wide trunk!! And we havent yet considered other 'wired utilities' - telephone and cable television!! Net-net, the walkability of footpaths in Bangalore is not a factor of just underground/overhead electricity cables.

-Srivatsava V

idontspam's picture

Net-net, the walkability of

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Net-net, the walkability of footpaths in Bangalore is not a factor of just underground/overhead electricity cables

Right and so my point was

"If its cheaper to increase footpath, clear encroachments, remove face scratching overhanging shrubbery lets do it. Else, the poles need to go."

and

"This should be a ward wise decision based on the total walking/footpath space available and the preference of the community."

rs's picture

I find it hard to believe

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I find it hard to believe that Bangalore is unique in that underground cableing is prohibitively expensive. The benefits outweight the costs - as has been pointed out repeatedly the BESCOM boxes and cable poles are the biggest impediments on the already neglected footpaths.

Certainly they should mandate underground cabling in the new layouts they are developing and get around to cabling the older neighborhoods as well. The overhead cables, apart from being risky and easier to steal from - are unsightly and it seems like oftentimes BESCOM just flings the cables across trees etc.

Its curious that the older cities like Kolkata and Bombay all have underground cableing especially in the older parts, like central Kolkata and South Bombay. So I think its more of an attiude and cost issue rather than a technological one.

 

Ramesh

 

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